Great collections have formed the basis of DER's acquisition and distribution strategy since our founding in 1968 when we introduced the exemplary !Kung Bushmen films of John Marshall and the groundbreaking Yanomamo films by Timothy Asch. Since that time we have continued to see the value in acquiring important filmmakers entire oeuvre, such as the works of Robert Gardner or the Netsilik Eskimo films produced in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada.
Now, in order to make these and other titles more accessible and affordable to our customers we are introducing collections of titles that will resonate in ways that will provide a richer and more informative viewing experience.
The Highlands Trilogy
by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson
color, 350 min, 2005
"...a documentary classsic and one of the great achievements of Australian cinema. It comes as close to perfection as any work by Australian filmakers....a work of art as well as a dazzling exercise in anthropology and journalism." — Neil Jillett, Chief Film Critic, Melbourne Age
Set in the Papua New Guinea Highlands and shot over ten years, these three stunning, critically acclaimed documentaries have won 30 national and international awards, including an Academy Award nomination for First Contact. All three won the Grand Prix at France's prestigious Festival Cinema du Reel, and AFI awards for Best Documentary.
Now available in the United States for the first time ever, the complete trilogy is offered as a collection at a special rate, exclusively through DER.
For more information about the The Highlands Trilogy, visit the series page here.
Alaskan Eskimo Series
produced by Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling
color, 311 min, 1972-1988
Filmmakers Sarah Elder and Len Kamerling produced these films jointly with village councils. Since 1974, the Alaska Native Heritage Film Project has pioneered a community-based approach to producing cultural films in which the film's subjects play a central role in determining the production's themes and direction.
The goal of this approach is to produce documentary films that are closer to the perspectives and priorities of the indigenous and minority people they represent. This technique was developed to ensure authentic Alaskan Eskimo material and point of view. Each of the communities represented helped to decide the direction and content of the films. For more information, visit the series page here.
This series of award-winning films is now being offered at a special rate in one complete collection.
Films included in the Alaskan Eskimo Collection:
At the Time of Whaling (CINE Golden Eagle, American Film Festival Blue Ribbon)
The Drums of Winter (National Film Registry, 2003)
From the First People (American Film Festival Blue Ribbon, Finalist)
In Iirgus Time (VITAS Folklore Film Festival, Best of Festival)
On the Spring Ice (American Film Festival Blue Ribbon)
The Living Maya Series
by Hubert Smith
color, 232 min, 1985
The Living Maya series documents life in a Yucatan village, focusing on one family, the Colli-Colli, over the course of a year. The films explore the ancient agricultural and religious customs that ground contemporary Maya life in traditional values Ð even as modern Mexico comes to the village. In Maya, Spanish, and English, with English subtitles.
The series is comprised of four films, titled simply Living Maya Program 1-4, each with a running time of 58 minutes.
For more information on these films, or to purchase any of the programs individually, visit the series page here.
Netsilik Eskimo Series
produced in association with the National Film Board of Canada
directed by Quentin Brown
color, 630 min, 1967
Filmed over a period of three years, from summer 1963 to the late winter of 1965, and released in 1967 as a part of the widely used elementary social studies curriculum, Man: A Course of Study, these films reveal the live reality of traditional Eskimo life before the European acculturation.
The Netsilik Eskimos of the Pelly Bay region in the Canadian Arctic had long lived apart from other people and had depended entirely on the land and their own ingenuity to sustain life through the rigors of the Arctic year. All videos are in color, with the natural sounds of the region and of the Eskimos' activities but with no voice other than those of the Eskimos. The effect of this film series is that of a field trip where students can observe Eskimo ways at their leisure and form their own impressions. The pace is unhurried; many of the Eskimo activities are shown in close detail.For more information about the Netsilik Eskimo Series, visit the series page here.
This collection includes the entire series - all nine films in twenty-one parts, listed here in chronological order:
At the Caribou Crossing Place
At the Autumn River Camp
At the Winter Sea Ice Camp
Jigging for Lake Trout
At the Spring Sea Ice Camp
Group Hunting on the Spring Ice
Stalking Seal on the Spring Ice
Building a Kayak
Fishing at the Stone Weir
Five Films by Yasuhiro Omori
color, 383 min, 1984-2001
Yasuhiro Omori is one of Japan's leading ethnographic filmmakers. Trained as an anthropologist and filmmaker under Jean Rouch, Omori has been documenting cultures around the world on three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa for over twenty years.
His films have received numerous international prizes and been televised in France and Japan. His works are produced and housed at the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan.
DER is pleased to offer these five films by Professor Omori, which document a variety of unique aspects of traditional Japanese culture, at a special collection price.
The Yasuhiro Omori Collection includes the following films:
A Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru
Seven Young Gods of Fortune: Fertility Rite of Dosojin
The Sons of Eboshi
Taki Kudo, Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru
One Man's Journey Series
by Robert Perkins
color, 168 min, 1987-2004
One Man's Journey is a three-part series featuring naturalist/explorer/filmmaker Robert Perkins paddling his canoe through his personal and geographic journeys. All three films were broadcast on WGBH in the winter of 2005.
Now, all three films are offered together at a special rate in the One Man's Journey Collection.
"Robert Perkins has pushed the envelope of the documentary/essay film, creating works that are both searingly honest and engagingly personable." -Phillip Lopate, Filmmaker
The Ovahimba Years: A Multidisciplinary Ethnographic Study
by Rina Sherman
color, 131 min, 1997-2008
From 1997 to 2004 Rina Sherman lived with the Tjambiru family at their homestead located on oHere hill in the outskirts of Etanga, a village in the north-western Kunene region of Namibia.
During her stay in the field, she documented the lives of the members of the family, their relatives and friends. Over a period of seven years, she established an extensive record of their everyday and ritual lives in text, sound, video and photography.In 2003, Sherman extended her research to the south-western provinces of Cunene and Namibe in Angola where she documented the lives of the Otjiherero speaking peoples, the Ovahakaona, Ovadhimba, Ovagambwe, Ovakuvale, Ovatwa... She is currently processing the data collected during this period - editing a series of films, establishing a catalogue of photographs and sound recordings, and writing up the years of journals kept in the field.
Now available at a discount of 25% off the price of individual purchase.
This collection features all three titles in the Pleasing God series of films, about how Hindus worship - Loving Krishna, about the worship of Krishna and the meaning of devotion; Sons of Shiva, a sustained attempt to film a four-day ceremony concerned with the worship of the God Shiva; and Serpent Mother, about devotion to the Goddess of Snakes and the importance of divine female power in West Bengal Indian life.
These films are studies of the devotional practices associated with three major deities of the Hindu pantheon. They were made in the small, historic town of Vishnupur, West Bengal - a town of temples, crafts and markets, the center of an old kingdom, and a place where daily life and worship are closely intertwined.
This collection makes all three films available at 20% off the price of individual purchase.
Three Non-Fiction Films by Robert Gardner
color, 83/85/90 min, 1964-2008
Robert Gardner was the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University from 1957 to 1997. He is an internationally renowned filmmaker and author whose works have entered the permanent canon of non-fiction filmmaking.
This collection contains newly released Special Editions of his three most prominent films:
Dead Birds (1964) A lyric account of the Dugum Dani, a Stone Age society at one time living an isolated existence in the Highlands of the former Netherlands New Guinea (Gardner was the leader of the Peabody Museum-sponsored expedition to study the Dani in 1961-62).
Rivers of Sand (1974) A social commentary on the Hamar people of southwestern Ethiopia.
Forest of Bliss (1985) A cinematic essay on the ancient city of Benares, India, which explores the ceremonies, rituals, and industries associated with death and regeneration.
Wood Crafts Series (Les Métiers du Bois)
by Jacqueline Veuve
color, 360 min, 1987-2008
"Hats off to Jacqueline Veuve for making a major contribution to Swiss cinema at the end of the eighties. In this fresco comprising seven portraits, the images are profound. What common ground is there between the gestures, the words and the hearts of these men? The answer is: a metaphysical relationship between wood and a way of life." — Bertil Galland, 24 heures
A series of short films about traditional wood tradesmen of Switzerland. These films take a close look at the lives and crafts of a group of men who make their living from working with wood, including a cooper, a luthier, a toy-maker, a carpenter and sculptor, a pair of shingle-makers, a turner, and others. For more information, visit the series page here.
These films are available individually, or together at special collection price.
Films included in the Wood Crafts collection:
Armand Rouiller, Sledge-maker
Arnold Golay, Toy-maker
The Bapst Brothers, Carriers
Claude Lebet, Luthier
François Pernet, Carpenter and Sculptor
Joseph Doutaz & Olivier Veuve, Shingle-makers
Marcellin Babey, Turner
Michel Marlétaz, Cooper
Pink Mountain Sand
A Little Corner of Paradise (Un Petit Coin de Paradis)